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Sport and the Feels
42 minutes | Sep 5, 2020
Paralympic Feels: Liz Johnson
Swimmer Liz Johnson won medals at three successive Paralympic Games, from Athens 2004 to London 2012, but even bigger accomplishments are happening day in, day out in the "second phase" of her career. Liz is passionate about making changes in the workplace and getting more companies and corporations to respect, hire and value more disabled employees. It's an untapped workforce, she believes, and an imbalance in society which continues, almost inexplicably. Some of Liz's stories about discrimination, both conscious and subconscious, will shock and surprise. As she reflects on the Covid-19 pandemic, it's impossible to argue with her assessment that flexible working conditions, requested by disabled workers for so long, have arrived much more readily now able-bodied staff are requiring them. It's a massively thought provoking conversation, with Jonathan Overend and Lee McKenzie, and if one employer listens and makes a change, then Liz will have done her job. But that job will continue, whether it does or it doesn't. Plus a debate about hotel breakfasts and toasting facilities therein.
36 minutes | Sep 3, 2020
Paralympic Feels: Ellie Simmonds and Ali Jawad
The two guests on Episode 7 of our Paralympic Feels series both made Paralympic debuts at Beijing 2008, were local heroes at London 2012 and flew home from Rio 2016 with medals round their necks. Ellie Simmonds won two golds as a 13-year-old on the other side of the world and another two as the face of the London Games, under huge pressure. Everyone assumes she's retiring after Tokyo but this candid chat may leave you with other ideas. Likewise Ali Jawad, the silver medal-winning Powerlifter. His challenge, in addition to the absence of legs, is the debilitating Chron's Disease, first diagnosed... well, you'll be amazed to hear when. What are his plans after Tokyo? You'll discover this is a man who loves a challenge... Two remarkable characters; the true life and soul of the Paralympics GB team. They're in conversation with presenter Jonathan Overend.
42 minutes | Sep 1, 2020
Paralympic Feels: Wheelchair Basketball Special
Wheelchair basketball is consistently one of the Paralympic's most popular sports. Fast and furious, ingenious and skilful, it packed out the Curacao 1 Arena at Rio 2016 night after night. The British teams did brilliantly; the women came 4th and the men won the bronze medal. Both are heading for Tokyo as genuine Gold Medal contenders as Sophie Carrigill, one of the key members of the GB team tells us in Episode 6 of "Paralympic Feels", the second series from "Sport and the Feels". But the sport is embroiled in an eligibility row which is has left several players re-classified to the point where they can no longer compete at the Paralympics. GB's George Bates, one of those affected, a reserve in Rio dreaming of Gold in Tokyo, tells presenters Jonathan Overend and Andy Stevenson how it's come to this. He's devastated, calling himself "collateral damage", and is considering an extreme option if his appeal fails. Plus, lockdown equipment challenges and a rude interruption from a sleepover!
31 minutes | Aug 30, 2020
Paralympic Feels: Rising Phoenix
Rising Phoenix is not your average movie. It will leave you gasping for air, searching for solutions, questioning your perceptions. Just released on Netflix, it's an evocative, emotional celebration of the Paralympic Games with particular focus on a “cast” of athletes telling their true stories. It’s an astonishing film, full of hope and potential, with a 'can-do' attitude. But the dramatic, inside story of how close Rio 2016 came to not happening - the Paras deemed dispensible, seemingly, by the Brazilian government - is a story never fully told until now and, deliberately, a stark warning for the future. These games run "Parallel" to the Olympics. Non-negotiable. On this episode of our Paralympic Feels series, Jonathan Overend speaks to the movie's creator, Greg Nugent, the former Director of Marketing at London 2012, and the producer, John Battsek, whose work on 'One Day in September' and 'Searching for Sugarman', won him two Oscars. Their fascinating insight takes you behind the scenes on the making of the film, the last-minute nature of the Rio crisis and then the messages of hope which they feel will resonate with the world.
37 minutes | Aug 29, 2020
Paralympic Feels: Charlotte Henshaw
Water-baby Charlotte Henshaw won a silver in London and a bronze in Rio, now she's gunning for gold in Tokyo. Except she's not a swimmer any more, she's a canoeist. It was the closing ceremony in Rio which did the trick. She knew she'd struggle to keep with the swimming pace in the next four years but she didn't want to retire, the pull of the Paralympics was too great. So her natural instinct was to try to look for a new job; a new sport. Swimming's loss is ParaCanoe's gain and after three gold medals for Paralympic GB in Rio, the team has a ready-made competitor swelling its ranks. But rhythm and routine has been severely disrupted over the past few months. Listen to Charlotte's concerns about training for something so uncertain as a Paralympics which may not happen. Also, does her boat have a name? Is that even a question?
39 minutes | Aug 27, 2020
Paralympic Feels: David Clarke
David Clarke has lived a remarkable life; let him tell you about it. Born blind in Wigan and sent to a Liverpool boarding school at 3 years old, he fell in love with football; scoring more than a hundred goals for England, carrying the Paralympic flame into the London Stadium in 2012 and handing over the FA Cup to his home town club the following year. That's just the sporty bit. In a successful professional career, David has positive and negative experiences in the way corporations treat and speak to disabled people which can only help improve attitudes. He believes there remains a "huge untapped workforce" and tells a story all businesses will learn from. Andy Stevenson, alongside host Jonathan Overend for this 3rd episode in the series, relates to David's tales and brings his own experiences of applying for jobs as a person with a disability. Plus; how does BBC Washington Correspondent Gary O'Donoghue fit into this story? Why was David wearing sequins last time he met Andy? Plus hello to Harpenden Colts Harriers U-15s.
38 minutes | Aug 25, 2020
Paralympic Feels: Clare Balding
While the athletes are the real superstars, few can dispute the fact that live TV coverage of the Paralympics has helped change perceptions of disability sport and alter attitudes in society. We have a lot to thank Clare Balding for: In 2004, the BBC decided to show the Paralympics live for the first time and Clare was the host. Fast-forward to London 2012 and, after a prominent Olympics for the BBC, she was the face of Channel 4 for the biggest, most ambitious, most successful coverage of a Paralympic Games in TV history. The coverage pushed boundaries and won a BAFTA. Clare wasn't afraid to ask questions we wanted to but were perhaps afraid to ask. She talks about how she took on the role, how things have moved forward with every games and the challenges still being faced by those athletes with disabilities. Lee McKenzie joins the Sport and the Feels team for this second episode in the series. She claims Clare helped her drink Rio out of gin. Clare blames Lee's "ring-leader" tendencies. Which she disputes. Plus a kitten update and a surprise mention for Eric Pickles.
46 minutes | Aug 23, 2020
Paralympic Feels: Tanni Grey-Thompson
A heavyweight alliance of some of the UK's most familiar sporting voices arrives at Series Two; Paralympic Feels. John Inverdale, Lee McKenzie, Sonja McLaughlan, Jonathan Overend and Andy Stevenson - all presenters at Paralympic Games for either TV and Radio - are your hosts for a series of incredible stories, running through 'what-would-have-been' the 2020 Paralympics. The team reflect on remarkable achievements they've witnessed, from the track and the pool to the blind football pitch. This is elite sport we're talking about, after all. Guesting on Episode One is probably the UK's most recognisable Paralympian; Tanni Grey-Thompson. Baroness Grey-Thompson, winner of 11 Paralympic Gold Medals, is a cross bench Life Peer in the House of Lords with many positions of responsibility within British society. Her frustrations with the treatment of disabled people, particularly in the workplace, become clear when she draws Covid-comparisons with "non-disabled" workers. She's acutely aware of the issues within disability sport which threaten future Paralympics. How can the classification system be improved? A thought-provoking conversation with hosts Jonathan Overend, John Inverdale and Sonja McLaughlan. Plus House of Lords dress codes, Zoom mix-ups and tackling "The Rock" Who wins?!
42 minutes | Aug 8, 2020
John Inverdale hosts: The Wrap Party
John Inverdale hosts a remote Wrap Party for Series One; inviting Marcus Buckland, Sonja McLaughlan, Jonathan Overend and Mark Pougatch. This can mean only one thing; an editing nightmare for the producer. But putting that aside, as we tend to do in the broadcast world, expect laughs, anecdotes and Olympic-based debate. First though, in true party style, a rubbish game. So prepare to be meet "Mystery Guest Dan". When that's over, not before time, the team get stuck in. They reflect on whether we're really missing Tokyo 2020, discuss the future of the Olympics, including the role of e-sports, and assess the uncertainty over the rescheduled Games in 2021. John finally gets to tell his Simply Red story from Barcelona 1992. Will it be worth the wait? We doubt it. Elsewhere, Sonja gets flummoxed by an Athens taxi and Jonathan heads for cover in Beijing. Plus mild jesting from Pougatch over the Cup Final result. Inevitable. Marcus' story about a wild night out in Atlanta is sadly, yet understandably, omitted. It's a chaotic 40 minutes to end the series, disappointingly without the aid of refreshment, these are pros after all. Thanks for listening.
34 minutes | Aug 7, 2020
Sport And The Bolt
In this special edition, Sonja McLaughlan lets you into as many Usain Bolt secrets as she can in 33 minutes, from her decade interviewing the fastest man on earth. Sonja first encountered the Jamaican after the 100m first round in Beijing, 2008. And so began a long, respectfully playful relationship between the pair, with Sonja gaining a trackside reputation as the one interview Bolt would always do. In association with Aldi UK, official supermarket partner of Team GB, Marcus Buckland is alongside Jonathan Overend to prod for stories. Jonathan reveals Bolt's comment on discovering Sonja was absent from the 2013 Anniversary Games. Marcus and Sonja go back 30 years so there's leg-pulling, gentle-jabbing, tales from Atlanta '96, their first together, plus a bizarre broken nose for an Olympic legend. Who?! How?!
31 minutes | Aug 6, 2020
Nicolas Massu and Anne-Marie Batson: The National Hero
The South American nation of Chile is passionate about sport, Chilean Rodeo and Football mainly, basketball too, but, weirdly, it had never won an Olympic Gold Medal before 2004. Step forward Nicolas Massu, a tennis player of high-regard but unfancied for the Athens Olympic Tennis event. As you'll hear, he didn't even fancy himself. But in tandem with friend Fernando Gonzalez, he won the doubles Gold Medal in five sets, finishing in the early hours of the Sunday morning, returning to centre court after two drug tests, a short sleep and five more sets, to win the singles Gold Medal. Nicolas tells of his abysmal record going into Athens but how the pride of representing Chile hauled him through. He paints the picture of a delirious scene in Santiago when he returns a national hero, millions waiting in the streets. Anne-Marie Batson is alongside host Jonathan Overend for episode fourteen, in association with Aldi UK, official supermarket partner of Team GB. They discuss tennis' place at the Olympic table and Jonathan recalls first-hand the dramatic contrast between Andy Murray's attitude in Beijing and then at London 2012. Plus, how much notice did Nico get before carrying the Chile flag at the 2000 Opening Ceremony? What's that you say?! No, much less...
40 minutes | Aug 5, 2020
Gail Emms and Andy Stevenson: The Mask
Gail Emms played brilliantly, the outstanding player on the court by a mile. As she smashed her Athens 2004 semi-final, with partner Nathan Robertson, she guaranteed either Silver or Gold for Team GB. What an achievement. Except this story's not like that. To the outside, it's a strange thing to consider yourself a "failure" for winning an Olympic Silver Medal (they lost the final). But that's how Gail feels. When you're conditioned into 'winning at all costs', the knock on effect can be scary. Consolation prizes mean nothing. How does she feels when she looks at her medal now? The answer will shock you. Taken in isolation, her story of depression, rejection, isolation may sound surprising. How can an athlete who's won a great prize feel that way? But that's the point. The Mask rises; disguises. Do we get that? Do we understand enough about the way these competitors are programmed, and the knock on effects to their mental health? This episode tackles a wide range of interconnected issues and will definitely make you think. Andy Stevenson is alongside host Jonathan Overend for Episode 13, in association with Aldi UK, official supermarket partner of Team GB. There's some Olympic-village namedropping, plenty of soul-searching and how Gail turned Andy Murray's Olympic attitude around.
37 minutes | Aug 4, 2020
Lutalo Muhammad and Marcus Buckland: The Redemption
A Taekwondo bout lasts for 6 minutes; 3 x 2 minute rounds. For 5 minutes 59 seconds of the men's Gold Medal heavyweight match at Rio 2016, Britain's Lutalo Muhammad was in the lead, heading for the Gold he so desperately craved. Fighting brilliantly, 6-4 ahead, he got caught by a head shot as the clock ticked to zero. Gold was ripped from him in the cruelest manner. Londoner Lutalo, who'd previously won a brilliant bronze at London 2012, reflects on those dramatic seconds with extraordinary honesty and positivity. Few who remember his heartbreaking, tearful BBC interview that day would imagine he could dissect the moment with such meticulous candour years later. There's no doubt he's heading to Tokyo in search of redemption. It's upgrade time, and he'll tell you - up front - how he plans to do it. Marcus Buckland is alongside host Jonathan Overend for Episode 11, in association with Aldi UK, official supermarket partner of Team GB. He teases Performance Director Gary Hall, a previous guest on the pod, for his travel arrangements. Also live coverage of a waiter dropping drinks. What's not to like about that?
34 minutes | Aug 3, 2020
Hamish Hamilton and Mark Pougatch: The Wonder
Unlike many of our guests on this series, Hamish Hamilton can live everyday life without being troubled, certainly without being recognised. He's a different kind of Olympian, an anonymous Olympian; not actually an Olympian at all. And yet, his gold-medal-winning work will be familiar to us all, drawing acclaim not from thousands in a stadium but from billions watching around the world on their TVs. Hamish was the Live Director of the London 2012 Opening Ceremony; the man responsible for bringing Danny Boyle's vision to life for a global audience. He's the go-to-guy for this kind of thing; directing the last seven Superbowl Half-Time shows and top of the contacts page for Beyonce, U2 and Robbie Williams when they need live concert directing. Suffice to say, he's on top of the podium in his particular profession. Mark Pougatch is alongside host Jonathan Overend, in association with Aldi UK, official supermarket partner of Team GB, to get deep into the London ceremony; "Isles of Wonder". They both agree it was one of the best things they've ever seen. So how did it work? How was it planned and constructed? How did that happen? Just... how?!?!?
27 minutes | Aug 2, 2020
Barry Davies Special Edition: "Frankly, who cares?!"
Commentary legends don't get any bigger than Barry Davies; Match of the Day stalwart and voice of twelve summer Olympic Games (eleven attended), 19 if you include his seven Winter Games. Voice of football, tick. Gymnastics and rowing... badminton and tennis, tick. Plus volleyball and handball, it transpires, then the cycling road race and the marathon (on the same day), tick. Just don't forget the weightlifting, his first assignment in 1968. And so to the hockey: "Where were the Germans?! Frankly, who cares!" One of the great commentary lines, delivered as Imran Sherwani put Britain 3-0 up in the 1988 Olympic men's final. But Barry wasn't always the go-to hockey guy. He tells the story of how he happened upon the mic that day. Plus his Redgrave regret, an encounter with Cassius Clay and some sizeable namedropping. But this guy has seen a lot, namedropping is allowed. He was at the 1966 World Cup Final, don't you know? He's going to tell you about it... in conversation with Jonathan Overend, in association with Aldi UK, official supermarket partner of Team GB.
38 minutes | Aug 1, 2020
Sir Matthew Pinsent and Mark Pougatch: The Teammate
Quadruple Olympic champion Sir Matt Pinsent is perfectly placed to talk about the role of the teammate. He traces his incredible rowing partnership with Sir Steve Redgrave from their daunting first meetings and unquenchable competitiveness, through to gold medals in Barcelona, Atlanta and - most famously - Sydney. How do you sync a rookie with a legend? How did Matt know his new partner was different class, during their early mornings on the Thames at Henley? Mark Pougatch joins host Jonathan Overend on Episode Nine, in association with Aldi UK, the Official Supermarket Partner of Team GB. Roy Keane and Sir Alex get namechecked, Matt goes off on a Michael Jordan tangent, plus more random Essex sports stars of the 80s and 90s. And who wins at Golf? Redgrave or Pinsent?...
44 minutes | Jul 31, 2020
Ben Ryan and Sonja McLaughlan: The Journey
In this touching episode of Sport and the Feels, Rugby Sevens coach Ben Ryan talks us through his astonishing journey from a phone call, in a Richmond backstreet, to a Gold Medal in Rio de Janeiro. He started with nothing. Certainly no pay. You'll be astonished to hear what things were like when he arrived in Fiji. Three years later, he was getting a hero’s welcome from thousands of fans in the capital Suva. Ben vividly recalls the barriers he overcame to overhaul a rough-and-ready team from the South Pacific and the importance of embracing the unique culture. It's some story. Sonja McLaughlan joins host Jonathan Overend for Episode Eight, in association with Aldi UK, official supermarket partner of Team GB. Sonja and Ben reminisce about nights on the track and ponder who might play Ben in a movie. Because that's happening, by the way. Plus, where's Ben's face?! It could be worth something...
39 minutes | Jul 30, 2020
Jeanette Kwakye and John Inverdale: The Pressure
Jeanette Kwakye ran thousands of 100 metre races in her life. Thousands and thousands. Up and down, up and down; practice races, school races, club races, international races. But her fastest 100m came when it mattered the most; The 2008 Olympic 100m final, having run her previous Personal Best in the Quarter-Final. Jeanette's two fastest races, in a career with thousands of races, were in the biggest competition of her life. How does that happen? What is it about "high pressure" which brings the best out of athletes? Jeanette also takes us back to junior days, sharing the track with a young Usain Bolt, and how "no pressure" helped her return to the sport she loves. John Inverdale is back alongside host Jonathan Overend for Episode 7, in association with Aldi UK. John may want to cover his ears at the end, though. Before that, they discuss the vital influence of teachers and parents and question the concept of success "inspiring a generation". Plus live coverage of an ice cream van passing through East London. If you like that kind of thing.
34 minutes | Jul 29, 2020
Gary Hall and Andy Stevenson: The Project
Performance Director Gary Hall charts the rise of GB Taekwondo from broom cupboards, corridors and supermarket aisles to six Olympic medals from the last three games, including back-to-back Golds for Jade Jones. Having become a global force in the Korean martial art, Britain's planning to take at least three genuine Gold medal hopes to Tokyo. It's a project with demonstrable results and Gary's strategy has always been a bold one. What happens when he asks UK Sport - straight up - for £12 million? Their reply will amaze you. He also tells the inside story of Sarah Stevenson’s controversial bronze medal match in Beijing (before the days of VAR...) and hypes the arrival of taekwondo at the Paralympics. Andy Stevenson is alongside host Jonathan Overend for Episode Six, in association with Aldi UK, official supermarket partner of Team GB. They chat about media diversity and misleading split screens. All the usual. Plus unlikely references to dairy farmers and pigeon racing. Also some mid-level swearing as Gary gets passionate.
42 minutes | Jul 28, 2020
Karen Pickering and Marcus Buckland: The End
Four-time Olympic swimmer Karen Pickering opens up about defiance in the face of adversity; particularly the times when "The End" came close. Her heartbreak, as a talented teenager, of being denied a place at Seoul 1988. The serious car crash, aged 24, from which she miraculously recovered to never miss a major championships. A “poor role model”? Seems unlikely, you judge. And then the actual end; an odd request causes confusion and ultimately draws the career curtain. Leading sports presenter Marcus Buckland is alongside host Jonathan Overend for the first time in this new series, in association with Aldi UK, official supermarket partner of Team GB. They get passionate about kids' sport participation. OK, more than passionate; Jonathan loses it. Plus, a "cock" reference. But not like that.
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